Job For A Cowboy – Sun Eater
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Arizona death metal brutalists, Job For a Cowboy may have finally put the saddle on the right horse. The new album, Sun Eater is easily the best of the group’s four full-length studio efforts, and takes them to the next level. For those who wrote the band off as generic knock offs, you’ll want to open those earholes again and get a taste of this record.
Sun Eater marks the second full length release with the current line-up, and in particular guitarist Tony Sannicandro and bassist Nick Schendzielos, who joined in 2011, truly come into their own on this record. Vocalist, and sole founding member, Jonny Davy, continues to establish his caustic vocal style, and guitarist Al Glassman is a riff machine. With the departure of drummer Jon “The Charn” Rice, Job For a Cowboy reached out to Intronaut stickman, Danny Walker, to record this album. Not surprisingly, Walker delivers some amazing work. Collectively, the band’s individual talents shine tremendously throughout this record.
The band once again tabbed producer and engineer Jason Suecof (Deicide, Death Angel, Battlecross) who also helmed the group’s 2009 album Ruination, the 2011 EP Gloom, and 2012’s Demonocracy. Suecoff, a brilliant guitarist in his own right also lays down a sick solo on the track, “Sun of Nihility”, while Cannibal Corpse frontman George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher puts his own twisted touch on “The Synthetic Sea”. Former lead guitarist Bobby Thompson once again donated a track in the form of “The Celestial Antidote”, which finds Davy playing with his vocal pitches.
Sun Eater is Job for a Cowboy’s most sonically expansive offering to date. It runs a nice 45+ minutes, offering much to enjoy. The record is well-paced from track to track, and is a more ambient affair than past releases. The band has managed to create stronger song structures and there is more melody and layering going on here. Schendzielos’ bass slips into all the nooks and crannies helping elevate each track.
“Eating the Visions of God” muscles the album open with a mid-tempo balanced display of technicality and ominous weight, while “Sun of Nihility” slips into something comfortable before building into its groove. Did I mention Schendzielos’ bass work? It plays nicely against the streaming fretwork ignites the last half of the song.
“The Global Shift” is a high-speed neck snapper with rampaging guitars and pummeling, marrow-rattling rhythms. Meanwhile “Buried Monuments” offers perhaps the album’s most melodic moments, in particular on the rolling guitar intro. The verse riff is among the best on the album, and the guitar solo simply soars, elevating the track to my favorite on the record.
While tracks like “The Stone Cross” and “The Synthetic Sea” maintain the trademark Job for a Cowboy aggression, the band adds more nuance and elements that build mood and intrigue. This is most evident on the album’s final track, the almost Crow Bar-esque “Worming Nightfall”. The song plods along a dismal backdrop for The Walking Dead.
Job For A Cowboy have created a statement album with Sun Eater, whether that was the intent or not. This signals an important shift in the band’s direction, and an impressive one at that. Easily one of the best death metal albums of the year.